I had my first stinging nettle experience yesterday while simultaneously being attacked by mosquitoes. Somehow the mosquito bites stopped itching as soon as I got in the car, but the nettle sting still hurt at 7AM today. Was a very successful sampling trip though. Hopefully the hybrid blackberry cuttings that I put in the greenhouse will live. The problem with studying the evolution of invasive species is that when you find something really interesting and tell the land managers about it, they want to eradicate it as soon as possible, and then you don't have it to study any more.
Saw Expelled last night. All the discussion of intellectual freedom seemed like a bit of a moot point to me, since all the evidence in favor of evolution wasn't even addressed. There were sound bites of scientists saying that ID is "stupid" or "not science" but I'm betting that the producers edited out the parts of the interviews in which the scientists explain why ID is not science. Regarding the idea that learning about evolution causes people to lose their spirituality, I think that just shows that our spiritual education is lacking. People should be able to connect to spirituality/God regardless of what they learn in the classroom. We should not sacrifice perfectly good science just because people's faith isn't strong enough to withstand it.
I gotta hand it to Stein though for somehow getting Richard Dawkins to say that he thought that life could not have arisen spontaneously.
The animation of the cell was nifty, and very scientifically informed. I wonder who they got to make that, for a movie that pushes ideas that so many scientists are opposed to.
The cutaways to clips of old movies made the film a bit too propagandist. What irked me the most was when one scientist mentioned the hypothesis of macromolecules initially forming off of crystals, as the origin of life. There was a cutaway to some crazy guy saying "Look into my crystal ball!" It's a perfectly good idea as far as I'm concerned, and I remember hearing about it some years back. Making fun of an idea on a third-grade level doesn't take any support away from it!